I have been inspired by Hannah Witton to write this post as she continues to blog about her chronic illness.
I will confess that I am lucky. Which is an unusual comment to make when discussing a diagnosis of epilepsy.
I am lucky because I have been able to continue my life. It hasn’t come easy (but who’s life is easy) and I’ve had to work hard. But I sit here typing with 2 Master’s degrees, a permanent job, albeit one that I am possibly over (find out more here), and I got married last September. Not doing too shabby if I do say so myself.
But as I said, it hasn’t all been fun and games. I was diagnosed at 19 (rather unexpectedly) and to say I was a bit down about it was an understatement. I remember crying A LOT. But giving up was never an option.
Of course you have to get used to the idea that you could have a seizure at any point. I try not to think about it because I would just be a HUGE ball of anxiety (even 11 years later). However, I’ve found two things to help with this… The Medic Alert bracelet, which means you could have an incident anywhere and they will be able to contact your Next of Kin and have access to what medication you’re on. People often confuse mine for a Tiffany’s bracelet which is never a bad thing.
Tim can also track my whereabouts on Google Maps (which isn’t as creepy as it sounds) but he is able to identify exactly where I am so if I text help or don’t answer my phone, he would be able to find me.
When I was diagnosed with epilepsy, the only thing I could find on the internet were forums with (no offence), horror stories. I ended up staying away from internet – it was better not to know. I have decided ignorance is definitely bliss.
It took me about 4 years to get my seizures under control, and every day I continue to implement strategies relating to stress management, fatigue management and the like. I don’t always get it right which can often lead to small bouts of anxiety (or a seizure), but I will do my very best to not let it defeat me.